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The City of Austin Economic Development Department announced the launch of the Community Navigator Program to support local businesses, nonprofit organizations and creative professionals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this initiative, local entities can register for critical assistance like one-on-one coaching, business classes, technical support and application assistance for grants and resources.
“In addition to our small-business classes, the Community Navigator Program is another crucial tool to help local businesses, nonprofits and creatives continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, director of the Economic Development Department. “I encourage all local business owners, nonprofit leaders and creative professionals to register for no-cost assistance from our diverse Community Navigator partners including business coaching and help applying for grants.”
On June 5, 2021, the Austin City Council allotted $500,000 for the Community Navigator Program by adopting Ordinance No. 20210506-002. This program is funded through Austin’s allocation from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Economic Development Department selected third-party partners for this program through a competitive request for applicants process between September and October 2021.
Community Navigator Program Registration
Local entities can visit the Community Navigator Program webpage to register for no-cost assistance to help plan, recover and educate owners and employees. Registration is available in English, traditional and simplified Chinese, French, Hindi, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. To be eligible for the program, registrants must be a local business, nonprofit organization or creative professional in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays and Williamson Counties.
Community Navigator Program Partners
The Economic Development Department’s partners for the Community Navigator Program are Art Spark Texas, Austin Revitalization Authority, Business & Community Lenders (BCL) of Texas, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Mission Capital, On the Money Finance LLC, The Volt Studios and Visual Matters Consulting.
Community Navigator services will remain available until all funding is exhausted. For more information on the Community Navigator Program, visit austintexas.gov/community-navigator-program.
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department
The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit austintexas.gov/edd or follow us @austinecondev on Facebook and @austinecondev on Twitter.